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BURLINGTON, Vermont (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Christopher Coyne of Burlington announced Monday that he dismissed a pastor from his parish in Springfield, Vermont for resisting a mask mandate and COVID-19 testing requirements for unvaccinated priests.

In a letter to parishioners on Tuesday, Coyne said that he removed Father Peter Williams of Holy Family Parish due to “serious disobedience and disrespect shown to the office of the bishop.”

Coyne had declared in a September directive that priests who do not get COVID-19 injections must wear a mask during all celebrations of the Sacraments and any interactions with individuals in the course of pastoral ministry. Un-jabbed clergy must also be tested for COVID every other week, he ordered.

Father Williams, the pastor of Holy Family Parish for almost two decades, refused to comply with the diocese’s mandates as a matter of conscience. In a video earlier this year, the priest, who has not taken the shots, said that he objected to the bishop “directing matters of my health.”

After informing Coyne last year about his decision not to follow the mask and testing requirements, the bishop gave him two weeks to submit or face suspension and asked him to resign from his parish. He even suggested that the priest could be excommunicated.

But Father Williams has said that he has hired a canon lawyer and intends to remain at Holy Family Parish unless the diocese ousts him through canonical proceedings. Coyne told Catholic News Agency on Wednesday that he will not “escalate the situation” if Fr. Williams declines to leave.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews in January, the priest explained that he refused COVID vaccination because of the dictates of his conscience and his abhorrence of abortion. At some point of development, all COVID-19 shots available in the U.S. relied on cell lines derived from aborted babies, who were most likely still alive when their tissue was harvested.

“So, making that conscious decision was not difficult,” he told LifeSite.

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PETITION: Urge U.S. Bishops to publicly excommunicate Joe Biden for scandalously promoting abortion
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PETITION UPDATE (3/7/22) - 

To his eternal shame, self-professed "Catholic" Joe Biden has done it again.

In the last 10 days, Biden directly acted to promote the evil of abortion. Twice.

And, to their shame, the bishops of the United States continue to tolerate this ongoing scandal as though it's business as usual.

But, let's not give up on our shepherds!

Please SIGN this petition and let's CONTACT our bishops again, and ask them to do the right thing (or, do something!), and excommunicate Joe Biden.

In the latest episode of this ongoing tragedy, Biden nominated abortion-friendly (and, Planned Parenthood supported) Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court.

Then, as if to underline his Supreme Court pick, Biden made the following statement promoting abortion during his State of the Union address:

"The constitutional right affirmed by Roe v. Wade — standing precedent for half a century — is under attack as never before. If you want to go forward — not backwards — we must protect access to health care. Preserve a woman’s right to choose..."

Of course, we know that making a decision to exclude public figures from Holy Communion is not easy. But, sometimes, this is the only way to make them understand the error of their ways, and to preserve the Church from serious scandal.

And now that Biden has left no doubt as to his intentions and actions - attempting to anchor the United States to the evil of abortion for generations to come - it is high time for the bishops to act to stop this grave scandal from continuing.

Public excommunication would be a suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of scandalously promoting abortion.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this important petition. Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'Biden announces Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace Stephen Breyer on Supreme Court' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-announces-ketanji-brown-jackson-to-replace-stephen-breyer-on-supreme-court/

'Pro-life groups warn about Biden’s Supreme Court nominee' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pro-life-groups-warn-about-bidens-supreme-court-nominee/

'These Republicans could help Biden install his far-left Supreme Court pick' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/these-republicans-could-help-biden-his-left-wing-supreme-court-pick/

'Biden reiterates support for Roe v. Wade, radical LGBT policies during State of the Union' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-again-vows-supports-for-roe-v-wade-radical-pro-lgbt-law/

'Biden says he won’t debate ‘theology’ when asked on Ash Wednesday why he supports abortion' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-says-he-wont-debate-theology-when-asked-on-ash-wednesday-why-he-supports-abortion/

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PETITION UPDATE (9/3/21) - 

Following the US Supreme Court's decision to allow Texas' Heartbeat Law to go into effect, Joe Biden made the announcement that he would initiate a "whole-of-government" response against the new pro-life statute which could ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

This is yet another, outright confirmation of Biden's openly pro-abortion policies, policies which have the main objective of ensuring that women will continue to be able to kill their own children without impediment.

This anti-life, anti-Catholic stance needs to be urgently addressed and condemned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

For the good of the Church, for the good of pre-born babies, for the good of the faithful, and, indeed, for his own good, Joe Biden needs to be publicly rebuked by the bishops and excommunicated until such time as he repents from his pro-abortion policies.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition, which asks the bishops of the United States to act in unison to exclude Joe Biden from Holy Communion for his scandalous promotion of abortion - the murder of the innocent.

After signing, please take a moment to CONTACT the offices of the USCCB to politely, but firmly, encourage the Conference to take the necessary steps to exclude from Holy Communion public officials who continue to show blatant disregard for innocent human life and the Church's teaching.

The USCCB's Office phone number is: 202.541.3000

Thank you!

_____________________________________________________________________________

"No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." - Matthew 6:24

In the lead-up to their meeting in mid-June, we call on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to exclude Joe Biden and other “Catholic” politicians (like, Nancy Pelosi) from Holy Communion over their public, obstinate, and scandalous promotion of abortion.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which asks the USCCB to act to stop the abuse of the reception of the Holy Eucharist by politicians who promote the murder of innocent pre-born babies.

We know that making a decision to exclude public figures from Holy Communion is not easy. But, sometimes, this is the only way to make them understand the error of their ways, and to preserve the Church from serious scandal.

Indeed, Canon Law (Canon 915) declares that those who persist in manifest, grave sin should not be admitted to Holy Communion

Beyond that, at this point, public excommunication appears as the only suitable response for Biden's obstinate, public and grave sin of promoting abortion.

In doing so, we do not hold ourselves up as judges over Joe Biden's eternal soul, but we encourage the bishops to make known one of the consequences of public and obstinate support of abortion by our 'Catholic' politicians.

The fact is, in terms of the manifest, grave sin of abortion, Joe Biden is as bad as he said he would be before the election.

Therefore, it is cold comfort that the USCCB is only preparing to discuss this issue only now.

But even now, if the USCCB publicly excommunicate Biden for his pro-abortion stance (as well as other pro-abortion politicians), the Conference could reclaim some of the moral authority which they lost by their largely silent assent to Biden's candidacy.

Please SIGN and SHARE this petition, now.

Since Joe Biden was sworn-in on the 20th of January, he has wasted no time in signing orders and bills which facilitate the destruction of unborn human life.

  • In one executive order, Biden rescinded the Mexico City Policy prohibiting the federal government from spending taxpayer monies on abortion and the promotion of abortion.
  • Biden also signed (instead of vetoing) the COVID relief bill, which, for the first time in 44 years, contained funding for abortions in America, using taxpayer dollars.
  • Biden said that he wouldn't defend Hyde, and he hasn't.

And, if he and the Democratic Party get their way, a lot more of the same regarding abortion is on the way.

Strong action must be taken lest anyone, especially young people, be confused by the scandal of a "Catholic" in Biden's position aggressively promoting abortion, enabling the killing of innocent human beings.

American rank-and-file Catholics don't want any more compromise and equivocation from the Bishops Conference on this "pre-eminent" life-and-death issue.

We want clear action, not twenty more years of dithering and "dialoguing."

50 million babies have been lost to abortion in the U.S. since Roe!

So, we will NOT accept any more lives lost as a result of dithering and "dialoguing." [**Please see "Notes" below about how it has been reported that some senior U.S. clerics are trying to prevent this discussion from even taking place.]

And, we will especially NOT accept one life lost to abortion by politicians who claim the Catholic Faith, but who promote grave evil. God forbid!

With all due respect to these bishops, they diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by not imposing public canonical penalties on a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

The bishops are now at a crossroads and must choose either God or mammon.

We call on them to choose God and choose Life!

And we also continue to encourage those brave, true and good bishops who have done well to warn Amercian Catholics about the perils to the unborn and the Faith resulting from Biden's promotion of abortion!

SIGN and SHARE this petition, which asks the bishops of the United States to act in unison to exclude Joe Biden from Holy Communion for his scandalous promotion of abortion - the murder of the innocent.

After signing, please take a moment to CONTACT the offices of the USCCB to politely, but firmly, encourage the Conference to take the necessary steps to exclude from Holy Communion public officials who continue to show blatant disregard for innocent human life and the Church's teaching.

The USCCB's Office phone number is: 202.541.3000

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Joe Biden: I support abortion ‘under any circumstance’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/joe-biden-i-support-abortion-under-any-circumstance

Biden administration has opened the way for ‘abortion by mail on a massive scale’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-administration-unleashed-by

‘Catholic’ Biden marks Roe v. Wade anniversary with pledge to make abortion available for ‘everyone’ - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-biden-marks-roe-v-wade-anniversary-with-pledge-to-make-abortion-available-for-everyone

BREAKING: DC archbishop affirms he will give Holy Communion to pro-abortion Joe Biden - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-dc-archbishop-affirms-he-will-give-holy-communion-to-pro-abortion-joe-biden

Vatican puts brakes on US bishops confronting problem of pro-abortion Biden receiving Holy Communion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-puts-brakes-on-us-bishops-confronting-problem-of-pro-abortion-biden-receiving-holy-communion

Abp. Aquila backs call for pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ Joe Biden to be denied Holy Communion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/abp-aquila-backs-call-for-pro-abortion-catholic-joe-biden-to-be-denied-holy-communion

Cardinal Burke floats ‘excommunication’ for Biden over his ‘aggressive’ abortion promotion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-floats-excommunication-for-biden-over-his-aggressive-promotion-of-abortion

Biden’s HHS is lying about Title X to push abortion - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/bidens-hhs-is-lying-about-title-x-to-push-abortion

List of US bishops for and against denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians like Biden, Pelosi - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/list-of-us-bishops-for-and-against-denying-communion-to-pro-abortion-politicians-like-biden-pelosi

Notes about USCCB's June Meeting:

For nearly twenty years, the US bishops have been dithering about whether or not to excommunicate pro-abortion politicians by formally withholding Holy Communion from them.

Their indecision on this gravely scandalous matter is a scandal in itself, but one of the biggest obstacles has been internal opposition from senior U.S. bishops.

And, although the faces have changed in the last 20 years, their morally-and-intellectually-challenged arguments against excommunication have not changed.

Liberal bishops of the USCCB say that excommunicating Biden (for example) would divide the Church, divide the bishops, and would politicize the reception of Holy Communion.

Indeed, in the name of “unity,” it is reported that some senior U.S. clerics, including Cardinal Blase Cupich (Chicago), Cardinal Wilton Gregory (Washington, DC) and Cardinal O’Malley (Boston), have been working overtime to prevent any substantial discussion of so-called “Eucharist coherence” (that is, what qualifies as worthy reception of Holy Communion).

It is also reported that at least 57 other American bishops allegedly joined these Cardinals in a recent letter to the Head of the Bishops Conference, Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles, to try to pressure him to drop the planned discussion at the full meeting of bishops in June.

And now, even the Vatican is getting involved, with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith suggesting that even more “dialogue” is needed.

These same clerics may mistakenly believe that any attempt to suppress the objective connection between a politician’s promotion of abortion and his unworthy reception of Holy Communion will fool anyone.

But, it will not.

Rank-and-file Catholics are not stupid and can smell compromise a mile away, and we’ve had enough.

With all due respect to the Cardinal, bishops, and the Vatican…those who fail to act diminish the Holy Eucharist and their high office, as well as cause grave scandal to the faithful, by “dialoguing” with a man who is promoting mass murder of the unborn against the constant teaching of the Church.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition urging the bishops Conference to take action at their June meeting to exclude pro-abortion Joe Biden and other abortion-promoting “Catholic” politicians from Holy Communion.

**Photo Credit: Joshua Roberts / Getty Images

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Father Williams added that he took a stand against his diocese’s coronavirus policies for his unvaccinated parishioners. After church closures ended, he said, “all of a sudden the vaccination becomes the issue. And I’m looking and saying, well, the bishop could easily say that if you’re not vaccinated, you can’t go to church.”

While purporting to let clergy choose whether to get jabbed, Bishop Coyne’s order effectively served as unfair punishment for unvaccinated pastors, Father Williams said. “The way the letter read in my mind was, you get vaccinated or you get punished.”

The policy remains unchanged despite months of near-universal recognition that the COVID jabs do not halt transmission of the virus. Studies have also discredited the effectiveness of mask mandates at reducing viral spread.

Bishop Coyne said Tuesday that he has invited Father Williams to his residence in St. Joseph Cathedral Parish in Burlington “to hopefully change the bad opinion he has of me as his bishop.” Father Henry Furman of St. Michael Parish in Brattleboro has been named administrator of Holy Family Parish in the meantime, he added.

Coyne, appointed by Pope Francis in 2015, has a record of dissidence on fundamental Catholic teaching regarding sexuality and the family.

In an interview days after his installation, he described the gender confusion of so-called “transgender” people as “biological” and “who they are.” “So there’s no fault to be made, actually,” he said. Coyne further suggested that a homosexual may not be “a bad person or a bad Catholic” for being in a same-sex “marriage.”

He later accepted to speak at a pro-LGBT conference hosted by dissident Father James Martin SJ, who openly supports homosexual “marriage” and adoption and refers to God as female. Last year, Coyne signed a letter urging the U.S. bishops’ conference to shut down discussions about denying Holy Communion to lawmakers who facilitate abortion.

The Catholic Church has always condemned homosexuality as intrinsically evil and disordered. Homosexual acts, according to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “can in no case be approved of.”

The Magisterium of the Church also upholds the biological reality that there are only two genders and that God creates every human being either male or female. “By creating the human being man and woman, God gives personal dignity equally to the one and the other. Each of them, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity,” states the authoritative Catechism of the Catholic Church.

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